FINALIST: Michael Giese for
the Chicago Board of Trade Building (IL)

Categories: Power to the People

Who led the charge


Michael Giese
Vice President and General Manager, GlenStar Asset Management, LLC

A background in business helps Michael Giese keep an eye on the bottom line. His over 15 years of experience in real estate industry firms like Tishman Speyer and Equity Office Properties helps him tie that bottom line to exceptional building performance.

A Chicago landmark cuts energy use by over 40% without disrupting the trading floor.

As part of a $30 million renovation to this 85-year-old Chicago landmark, Michael Giese and his team implemented a range of energy-efficiency projects to space both new and (very) old.

Giese and his team utilized over $200,000 of utility incentives to fund as much of the work as possible, including a $60,000 Commercial Real Estate incentive for shedding over 1 million kWh. Work included upgrading lighting to T-8 or T-5, occupancy sensors and lighting controls, 14 variable new frequency drives on base building mechanical pumps, motorized dampers to replace previously inoperable manual ones, and more.

For a building whose exterior has captured the imagination as everything the headquarters of Wayne Enterprises in Batman Begins to the home of the Clark Kent’s Daily Planet in the Man of Steel film, it’s nice to know just how much of a superhero it is in real life: all in all, team was able to add nearly 40 points to their ENERGY STAR score and reduced energy use by 42%.


  • Phased shut-downs and drain-downs to avoid disruption of the 35,000-sf trading floor
  • Adjusted approach to leased and unleased space, leveraging utility incentives to upgrade lighting while staying within lease parameters in occupied offices
  • Took a holistic approach to vacant space, upgrading lighting, controls, variable frequency drives, pumps, and more
  • Improved their preventative maintenance program to include incentives for proactively reporting items requiring service, as well as an annual Environmental Action Plan